Mother arrested after leaving 4-year-old alone at Joshua Tree gas station for 5 hours

Vallero Joshua Tree

A Joshua Tree woman was arrested after police say she left her four-year-old daughter at a Valero gas station in Joshua Tree Tuesday night.

27-year-old Nichole Pederson was at the station, on Twentynine Palms Highway, at 5:30 p.m. with at least two other adults and several young children, reports KESQ. They can be seen on surveillance video getting into a pickup truck and driving away, forgetting about the young girl.

Police were called to the station 2 hours later when the girl was discovered. Deputies had a hard time figuring out who the girl’s parents were as she was only able to give their first names.

Pederson called the gas station 5 hours later, at about 10:30 p.m., asking about her daughter, according to authorities.

The woman was located by a deputy but was unable to show him her other five children. Police began a search and located Pederson’s other children at 4:30 a.m. and took them into protective custody.

The girl’s father, 36-year-old Robbie Pederson, was also at the gas station during the incident, say police – who have issue a warrant for his arrest, according to KTLA.

Nichole Pederson was arrested for felony child endangerment.